Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What I Learned Today

This post is a bit emotional for me...

Just before I was hired by the company I just left this week in September of 2007, I was laid off by the company I worked for at the time. I had only been there about 6 months and it devastated me. The company was locally owned and was an ad agency and I had always dreamed of being an Advertising Executive (the movie What Women Want probably helped with that).

I truly loved my role there. I loved the people I worked with. There were fiftyish people employed there and we were a family. All very close, eating lunch together, traveling together, failing together, succeeding together. When one of the employees was on a diet...everyone else supported them and cheered them on. It was honestly the best place I ever worked.

To lose the job I loved so much was a cruel blow and I really had no idea what I was going to do. The office manager/HR Director was literally crying when she told me they had to let me go. She was so upset at the thought of losing me and before I left her office I was consoling her. "I'll be OK Stevie. I promise. I'm resilient and I know something great is coming for me. One day I'm going to see you out somewhere and you'll see how wonderful this is going to be for me. Thank you so much for the opportunity."

I left the building that day sobbing and completely not believing anything I had said to her. I really just wanted to make her feel better because she had taken a chance on me when others hadn't and it had worked out for both of us until the bottom fell out and the owner had to let people go. In one day the company went from employing 50ish people to employing 15.

Fast forward...6+ years in the future, I've been hired by my current employer and they are in the process of doing my background check. I got an email from the verification company performing the background check this afternoon saying that they weren't able to get confirmation that I worked at this ad agency. I was confused. Until I realized that it was my name causing the problem. In the 6+ years since they laid me off I've gotten married and the agency knew me as Shelley (because that's my outside the office name) but the verification comany was asking for me by my legal name. They wanted information for someone the agency had never heard of so the agency couldn't provide it.

Once I got the email I called my old employer to let them know what was going on and to ask for their help...and I'm so glad I did. I'm so incredibly glad I reconnected with them. I spoke with many of my old coworkers as they literally transferred my call from one to the next to the next to the next. They all wanted to see wedding and baby pics and to know how I am because in the 6+ years since I left them they have wondered how I am often. My name still comes up around the lunch table. Silly things I said, did, gifts I gave, cookies I baked, goofy things I did while traveling for work. And when they finally put me through to the HR Director, Stevie...she had tears in her voice when she told me she was so glad that my predicition came true.

You see...she knew all those years ago that when I told her I was going to be OK I didn't mean it...We both knew it. I was devastated and trying to be strong. My 24 year old self was trying to be brave in the face of such uncertainty. So for her to finally find out what happened to me was beautiful for her and for me. To be reminded of that day and to see where I came from and how bold I was then and to see where I have grown and how much and how far...It amazes me.

I'm also just in awe that 6 months of working with these people left such an impression that 6+ years later they still talk about me and wonder about me and laugh at me. It's so flattering and incredibly humbling to know they still think so highly of me that they would pass my call around and immediately call the verification company while I was still on the line so they could assure me that they did their part to advance my future. I hung up the phone in tears but oh my word what happy tears they were.

The lesson for me in all of this is that who I am, while not strictly buttoned up and professional, is someone who makes strong connections. That I am apparently someone who leaves a very lasting good impression. In my career I have been told many times that I am too happy. Too perky. Too caring. But now I know...Those jobs just weren't right for me. They didn't value me and my personality and who I strive to be everyday. I hung up that call today thinking about exactly how lucky I am that I've found my place.

I'm so glad that I am who I am and that I've always been this person, no matter what. I'm so glad I've always tried to be a kind, caring, perky, happy person because in the end...that's who I am and it's obviously paid off.

Have any of you ever experienced this? Tell me about it in the comments.


PS: Be sure to find me on Facebook here and follow me on Twitter @InANutShelley. You can also find me on Instagram as InANutShelley.

Friday, February 14, 2014

I'm Baaaack....With Something Fun

I'm sorry I'm a slacker.
I'm sorry I've neglected you.
I'm sorry but I promise I'll get better.

Life got a little hectic for me. The company I currently work for lost their contract with the company they have me contracted to and so I've been trying to figure out my next steps. I was stressed and scared, not just for myself but for my team as well and just didn't have it in me to be fun and silly. But luckily for me everything has gotten worked out. The new company taking over the contract is wonderful and is going to absorb all of the people who work for the current company. I however will not be moving on with the new company because....I was offered a very wonderful position, doing something I love, at the company I was contracted to.


I was very excited when I got the offer and I'll be starting soon. I can't wait and am so flattered and overjoyed to still be able to work with the wonderful people I have worked with for the past six years. Its a huge personal achievement for me considering where I came from and the fact that no matter how hard I tried I was unable to pass my math courses in college to get my degree. But I've worked long and hard and finally it's paid off.

OK...Enough about me...Let's talk about something else.

Have you heard of Bunny? Or maybe you've heard of her as Grav3YardGirl on YouTube.

Bunny is a vlogger on YouTube and I absolutely love her.  I found her channel accidentally one day a few months back, when I was looking for a review of some crazy product. I ran across her series, Does This Thing Really Work and was transfixed. Have a look...

Her facial expressions. Her blue blue blue eyes. Her hilarious delivery. I just loved her. Much like my feelings for Jennifer Lawrence, I really want to adopt Bunny into my family. I think she'd get us and we'd be besties. (Is that creepy?)

Anywho...I've spent time watching her and enjoying her and she recently started a new series called Wreck It Wednesdays. I had no idea what it was about because I'd not been watching them but a fellow Swamp Family member (Hi Casey!!!) was telling me how fun they I tuned in. And I'm so excited that I did.

It seems that there are these wonderfully cool journals in the world, called Wreck This Journal. It encourages you to do things to it that are fun, creative and sometimes a little scary. Not like horror movie scary. But scary for book lovers like me. Things like poking pencils through pages and taking the book for a walk and eating colorful candy and painting a page with your tongue. But the whole idea of it is to open your mind to possibilities and to get you to use your creativity.

YOUR creativity.

I'm a pretty creative person. I love photography. I love music. I love coloring coloring books. I'm all about imagination and opening your mind to new things.

But I've been feeling like I'm in a funk lately. I haven't been sewing as much because my hobby area has been taken over by people with laptops who live in the same house as me (Looking at you Husband-Man and M) and I haven't been feeling inspired any way.

I thought...hmmm. Well...maybe I can get my creative juices flowing with this. So I went to the book store and bought something else.

That's right. I didn't buy Wreck This Journal. I bought something else that was created by the same person, Keri Smith.

I bought...this:

I can't really tell you what it is. Because as you can see...This Is Not A Book. But I hope to one day be able to define for you what it is for me. I think it would be different for everyone who buys this thing.
I'm going to attempt to explain this to you. It's going to be jumbled and garbled but...Put in the simplest language possible, this is an experiment. This is a journey. This is the start of what I hope to be a very inspirational time in my life.
Each page of this thing has a different challenge in it. Something you must do. The first page says:
This is an inconvenience.
Take This Is Not A Book with you everywhere you go for a week.
You must place it in full view at all times.
So I have. I've taken it to work. I've taken it to dinner. It has literally gone with me everywhere. No one has really asked me about it so it hasn't really been inconvenient...but that could change. I'm only on day three. But see...this is an excerise in perspective as well because to other people it might be inconvenient to just carry the dang thing around all the time. I'm ALREADY LEARNING!!!
I plan on finishing it. I plan on sharing my journey with you. You can look for pictures and updates and I hope you decide to get one of the series as well. There is another that I think I'm going to get for the family that is scavenger hunts or something. Husband-Man thought it sounded fun so fun we shall have.
Be sure to check back often here at the blog but feel free to also follow my time with this experiment in inspriation on Facebook here and follow me on Twitter @InANutShelley. You can also find me on Instagram as InANutShelley. I'll likely be posting many pics/videos there.
Stay warm. Stay safe.